Hailsham in old picture postcards

Hailsham in old picture postcards

:   Hailsham Historical and Natural History Society
:   Sussex, East
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3056-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Hailsham in old picture postcards'

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29. The smack mill in Mill Raad was known variously as Lower Mill, Hamlins, Mercer's or Catt's. David Catt was apprentieed to John Mereer and was one of three partners in the mill from 1879 to 1886, after which he taak complete control of the mill and the associated bakery business. A hundred years ago there were probably as many as a dozen mills within three or four mi1es of Hailsham. As each farmer threshed his cam, sa he would take a wagon laad to his local mi1l for grinding for fee ding his stock. Local ground oats was a staple food for poultry fattening for which this area was weIl known. The mill was destroyed by fire in November, 1923 and was rebuilt with an engine replacing the wind-driven sweeps. Fire struck again in 1969 but this time the mill was not rebui1t.

30. This post mill, known as Kenwards or Upper Mill, was in a field at the rear of the Methodist Church. In August 1869 it was bought by Robert Thomas Martin and four months later the miller, John Grove Kenward, became enmeshed in the machinery and was killed. Mr. Martin was extremely distressed by the accident and he more or less gave away the windmill on the understanding it was taken down and removed. So it passed into the ownership of George Weller who dismantled and re-erected it on top of a two-storey roundhouse at Harebeating Lane, renaming it Harebeating Mill. The four shuttered sweeps had a span of over seventy feet. The sweeps were removed in 1918 and in 1934 the smock tower collapsed. The brick roundhouse, however, still survives.

31. In the latter part of the nineteenth century about 25% of the population of Hailsham was engaged in agriculture. Haymaking was carried out completely by hand and this is well illustrated in this photograph of grass cutting at Cacklebury - the South Road area of Hailsham. Normally there were four men to a team, each with a scythe and wearing a leather belt with a cloth and a stone rubber at the back for blade sharpening. Trousers were strapped up above the calf', the straps being known as Nollegers, Knot-leggers or Yorks. Each man would have with him a basket of 'balt' together with a stone jar of beer which was often provided by the farmer. The men would scythe for days on end making it look quite effortless but in fact it was back-breaking work.

32. Grass cutting was the first stage in the haymaking process and, as soon as the cut grass was ready, women and children would come and help to turn over and shake the grass. After a few days of sun the hay would be ready to be picked up. Pitchforks were used to throw it on to the hay-cart where it was expertly handled by the loader. The drudgery of the task was partially offset by a liberal allowance of 'haying' beer supplied by the employer. The view of the church tower in the top right-hand corners identifies this typical scene as being in Parsonage Field, better known as Vicarage Field, which nowadays is the site of a shopping precinct and public car park.

33. Eventually grass eutting beeame less arduous when mowing machines drawn by horses were introduced to replace the hand mowing. The type of machine shown remained in use right up to the time when the modern mechanical mower came into use. If the erop was good and heavy, it was very hard work for a single pair of horses to keep going all day so it was quite a common practice to use one pair of horses for the moming and another pair for the aftemoon. As tractors gradually began to replace the horse for agricultural work the farmers sometimes converted their horse-drawn implements by replacing the horse shafts with home-made tow bars.

34. The Sussex wagon, which has been described the best of all Shire wagons, was strongly built with broad wheels to enable it to be pulled through the heavy clay. lts length and strength enabled it to carry large and heavy loads yet the shape of its body permitted better than average manoeuvrability. Colour and style of paintwork helped to identify the county of origin, Sussex wagons having blue bodies and red wheels. The smaller vehicle is a tip, or 'dung', cart which had a pin at the front which could be removed to enable the body to be tipped backwards to empty the contente. The carts and machines made for use with the plodding horse did not stand up well to the speed and snatching of tractors when these were introduced on the farms and it was not long befare they feil into disrepair and disuse being seen nowadays mainly in museums.

35. Thomas Burfield, a saddler and collar maker, was in business in Hallsham High Street. He bought his rope and cord from London but in 1807 decided to manufacture his own - thus starting the rope industry in Hailsham. On the right of the picture is one of his spinning walks, which was behind his High Street shop (demolished 1956 and now the site ofWoolworth's). By 1887 the business had expanded enormously and amongst other things was producing hop bags, eoal sacks, wagon and gig covers, halters, clothes lines, mats and door mats and employing two hundred hands. Cassells magazine, 1st June 1898 states The ropemaker is a noted person. All the ropes [or capital punishment used by the government at home and in the colonies are made in Hailsham. Every rope during the present century used at Newgate, was made here.

36. When Thomas Burfield first started rope making the work was done by outworkers. They would take the completed rope in wheelbarrows on a Friday to a warehouse in the High Street when they would be paid and collect the raw materials for the next week's work. The work was done on eight ropewalks around the town, all of which were on land belonging to Burfield and were in use until the early 1900's. The outworkers were paid piece-work rates and, since all the work was outdoors and could not be carried out in wet weather, their income fluctuated a great deal. The spinner would tie about 40 Ibs of hemp around bis waist, a wisp would be fastened to the wheel which the spinner boy was turning and the spinner would walk backwards paying out the hemp with his left hand while making the thread with his right. This rope walk was in Mill Road and the picture shows Mr. and Mrs. John Baker with 'Cat' Parsons in the right foreground.

37. George Green, a spinner from Staffordshire, came to Hallsham and agreed to spin yam for Burfields whilst they continued to make the ropes. The industry prospered but in 1830 George Green decided to break away and set up his own works in Summerheath Road. The two firms remained separate until1953 when they were re-united within the Hawkins and Tipson Group and the making of large diameter ropes in Hailsham dates from that time. In addition, the firm of Marlow Ropes was formed to specialise in the manufacture of ropes for yachting. The photograph shows a rope-walk on the Summerheath Road site.

38. The name 'trug' is believed to derive from the Old English word 'trog', meaning tub or baat. Although nowadays trug making is confined mainly to Herstmonceux and East Hoathly, at one time it was also carried out by Green Brothers. The body is made from thin slats of willow, seven or nine in number, while the rim and handle are made from ash or chestnut, copper nails being used to fasten the whole basket together. The tools used for this eraft nowadays are basically the same as ean be seen in this picture of a Green Brathers trugmaker sitting astride his 'horse' and nailing the first board to the frame. The pile of boards at his side will have had their ends thinned and narrowed slightly to ensure a good fit before being steamed to make them pliable.

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